Since that blog, social media blew up. Last night I received several tweets from people that had either driven those roads or were currently STUCK on Interstate 55. Here are a couple of the tweets from this morning. One is showing I55 in Mississippi County and one shows a nearby exit that is really congested right now. Conditions sound horrible there right now:
I am re-tweeting more reports, so watch my twitter feed on the side of this page or follow me on your Twitter app at @ryanvaughan.
I drove home last night and saw a wide variety of road conditions. I made a map to show what I saw. You can click it to enlarge...
I was highly disappointed in the state highways. Highway 351 was horrible between KAIT road and Pine Log road. Not only was it 100% covered, but bumpy with large ruts and chunks of ice.
Highway 49 from Pine Log Road to the city limits of Paragould was also horrible, considering it is one of the busiest highways in Region 8. Northbound and southbound had one lane with "tracks". Those tracks had ice. I thought that the magnitude of the storm prevented the crews from clearing the lanes, but then I got to Paragould. I'm not sure if the city clears the main roads in Paragould, but Highway 49 in the city limits had 4 dry lanes! It was like a magical wand was waved over the city. Therefore, it proves that clearing 4 lanes is possible.
I'm not picking on the Arkansas State Highway Department. As I mentioned in the previous blog post, I'm not pointing fingers at the workers. Maybe it is the technology, the budget, the equipment, or the management philosophy. I'm not sure, but something has to change. State Senators are already taking note.
Have a good day and be safe,